Role: Lead UX designer
Skills: Content audit, Competitor review, Ecosystems, Proto-personas, Sitemapping, Tree tests
Redesign the information architecture of a system of sites to allow key tasks to be completed easily.
HSBC wanted to redesign their asset management websites, creating an intuitive and clear information architecture that allows key tasks to be completed simply and easily.
The main output of the Discovery phase of this project was to create new information architecture in the form of a Sitemap, that would show how the Asset Management websites would fit together and show how content would be grouped and structured. We also wanted to scope effectively for the Production phase.
The main output from the Production phase were full designs for templates.
What I did
In the Discovery phase, I carried out the following pieces of work:
- Desk Research into Asset Management
The aim of this was to get up to speed with how Asset Management operates and to help prepare a comprehensive script for the Requirements Gathering sessions.
Research into Asset Management was conducted, covering how Asset Management works, the various audiences involved and the main competitors.
- Requirements Gathering at HSBC
I wanted to establish a clear picture of how Asset Management works, the key concerns about the current ecosystem, the results that were expected, and the key limitations and constraints.
I created question scripts to help guide our sessions with key stakeholders & conducted the interviews.
- Strategic Ecosystem definition
With a clear purpose defined for the component parts of AMG, the structure and content of the site/s would be clear. To help me do this, I used the findings from the stakeholder interviews.
I created a Purpose Matrix that mapped the components of the current AMG ecosystem and noted their current purpose. I then defined a new purpose for each part of the ecosystem – this resulted in some components of the ecosystem being made redundant and others merged.
This work resulted in a vision statement being defined for the new AMG ecosystem, and also defined a clear purpose for every part of the AMG ecosystem, allowing me to be clear in what I was designing, the priorities for content, and KPIs.
- Content Audit
I wanted to know what content was currently available, how it was currently grouped, and what gaps there were.
I created a spreadsheet that detailed the types of content and noted whether content was incomplete or duplicated, or whether it could be merged. I also did an audit of the various country sites, to understand the scope of variation across countries.
The Content Audit was vital to ensure that we had an understanding of the various types and groupings of content that we would need to cater for within the new IA, and to understand where opportunities for streamlining and decluttering were.
- Competitor Site Audit
I also wanted to discover how competitors grouped their content, what content was available, and where gaps existed between competitors and my client. This would help inform how content could be structured and help us make recommendations of how to improve content.
I conducted an audit of 5 main competitors and created a document that showed the high level content areas that competitors addressed. Together with the Content Audit, this helped inform how content was grouped in the Sitemap and started to give us some definition about what content would go where.
It also helped me to recommend where content could be added to help AMG be competitive in the Asset Management space.
- User Goals
Mapping out the user goals helped me understand what the needs of the various types of users would be when visiting the Asset Management website and made sure that we addressed these appropriately.
As I did not have direct access to users to conduct any user research, I relied upon the content audits and the requirements gathering sessions to create a picture of what the main user goals would be.
I created a matrix of user goals, split into types of user (Individual, Institutional, Adviser) that covered the main needs and goals that each type of user have when visiting an AMG site. This helped me to identify the key tasks and journeys that the website/s would need to serve.
- User Profiles and User Journeys
I also wanted to create user profiles and user journeys as a way of visualising a portrait of different user types that will be using the AMG website/s and to demonstrate how the IA will allow them to complete their key tasks.
I created 5 user journeys that represented key paths that different types of AMG users would take. These journeys were defined out of the user goals that we had previously identified. Each user journey also had a user profile attached, which were based on research and insights I had received from various client stakeholders, and were created to bring users to life.
This work helped me to illustrate to the client how different users would do different tasks across the new IA that I was creating.
- Sitemap (including a clickable Sitemap)
From all the above work, the final deliverable was a Sitemap that mapped out the new information architecture across the Asset Management ecosystem.
The aim of the Sitemap was to demonstrate how the new Asset Management ecosystem fit together and what content goes where. It defined the structure for the navigation and the pages that sit underneath it.
The structure of the Sitemap was informed by all the previous work that I had done, making sure that I stuck to the purposes that I had defined, covered all the requirements, covered all the key user goals and journeys, and addressed all the content needs and gaps that the audit and competitor analysis had uncovered.
A clickable Sitemap was also created and sent to the client that allowed for stakeholders to complete key journeys within the new Sitemap, to test how well it stood up. A corresponding Results document was also created to feedback the results of the test.
The outcome of the Discovery phase work was that I presented all work to date to a room of client stakeholders. From this, we gained buy-in for budget to go ahead with the production phase of the project.
For the Production phase, I worked closely with the banking client stakeholders, the agency production team, and the build agency to scope out requirements for the Production phase. This included creating user stories and acceptance criteria for the requirements, prioritising them, planning out a Sprint Zero, and kicking off Sprint Zero handing over Lead UX designer responsibilities to a newly hired permanent UX designer.